Sébastien Loeb's big announcement

Sébastien Loeb’s big announcement

On his way to his third Dakar, Sébastien Loeb has made this legendary rally-raid the last major objective of his immense career.

It’s go again. For the fifth time in a row, Saudi Arabia will be the scene of the Dakar, which begins this Friday. On the sidelines of the big start, Sébastien Loeb, who is taking part in this legendary race for the third time (2nd in 2022 and 2023) spoke in the columns of the daily L’Equipe. And the nine-time WRC world champion has big ambitions. At almost 50 years old, he has indicated that the Dakar will be his main goal at the end of his career. The last one without doubt.

« I’ve had several podiums so far, with a third place and three second places, but I haven’t managed to win the Dakar yet, so the goal is naturally to fight for that, Loeb first confided. But it’s always complicated to make plans because it’s a long race and full of traps. You can be the fastest but not necessarily the first at the finish, because there is navigation and reliability that come into play. A perfect Dakar, without problems, without ever getting lost, without puncturing, that does not exist . The slightest problem can quickly become costly, so we have to hope that everything goes well for us. We’re going to start the rally focused, without doing too much but while staying in the rhythm, because it has become a sprint from one end to the other. »

“The Dakar has become my only goal”

The Alsatian pilot then spoke about his long-distance duel with Nasser Al-Attiyah. “I’m starting to have good experience of the Dakar, so I don’t give up hope of succeeding in winning it one day, he said. I have no inferiority complex compared to Nasser (Al-Attiyah), I know that it is possible to beat him but I also know that he and Mathieu Baumel (his co-driver) have enormous experience, that they make very few piloting or navigation errors and that, to beat them, you have to be on top. »

And to add: “It’s a personal challenge and I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, so I would like to make it happen, especially since the Dakar has become my sole objective. I no longer do WRC, I have no plans to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans again (he participated in 2005 and 2006 with Pescarolo), therefore the only prestigious, legendary and tough race that I am in a position to win today, it’s this one. » Whether this year with Prodrive or in the future with Dacia, which has recruited him for the next three editions, Loeb will do everything possible to achieve his goals.

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